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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Gaining a broader awareness of the world while at Harvard

Lake's ignorance of other collegiate options than Wake Forest College suggests the limited mobility of his small town. He attended Harvard University, however, as a law student because Wake Forest lacked accreditation. Harvard broadened his horizons both socially and spatially.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Well, going on into your college career, was there ever any doubt that you'd go to Wake Forest?
No, I didn't know that there was any other place to go. I thought all people with fine sensibilities would naturally go to Wake Forest because I had grown up here. There were great rivalries in those days between Wake Forest, and Carolina, and what is now State College, Trinity, as Duke was then called, and Davidson. When one of those schools would come over to play baseball, the Seaboard would run a special train over usually to bring the State student body, and sometimes the Carolina student body, over to see the ball game. They would park down on the side track at the athletic field. We had great contests in baseball. Then, as I say, I went on to college, a remarkable opportunity under that faculty which I mentioned. One of the benefits was, by virtue of the smallness of the institution, most of my work was under the heads of the various departments. They were, indeed, scholars and gentlemen, and I learned a great deal due to their efforts. When I graduated, I first planned to go to the University of Chicago, as my father had done, and do graduate work in Physics and Math, which were my majors in college. I had the idea of teaching. In my senior year I became interested in the possibility of studying law. So my father said, "It doesn't cost you anything to go to law school here because you get your tuition free as a child of a faculty member, and you can live at home. So why don't you take a year at law here and see whether you like it." So, I did--and a marvelous Law School faculty, the dean of the school, Dr. Gulley, and his associates, Professors Timberlake and White, great professors--and I became very much more interested in law. Then I went on to Harvard. Wake Forest, in those days, although a fine law school and, I think, generally regarded as the best in North Carolina, was not a member of the American Association of Law Schools. Wake Forest had remarkable success in getting its students to pass the bar examination. At that time, I think, most practicing lawyers in North Carolina were products of the Wake Forest Law School, either directly or the graduates of Carolina or Trinity who would come here to take their review courses for the bar examination. I went on to Harvard because, as I say, Wake Forest was not an accredited law school at that time because we did not have the physical resources that the Association of American Law Schools regarded as essential. I went on to the Harvard Law School, and there, again, I had a remarkable opportunity. I think I went to Harvard in what is called "the Second Golden Age" of the Harvard Law School. Roscoe Pound was the Dean, and on the faculty were Professor Williston, who was an authority on Contracts; Professor Warren, who taught Property; Professor Bohlen, who taught Torts; Professor Morgan, who taught Procedure; Professor Scott, who was a world authority on the subject of Trusts; and Professor Powell, who taught Constitutional Law. I don't think he was a particularly great teacher but he was an interesting man. There again, I just had a remarkable opportunity. So I enjoyed my three years at Harvard. I had to start all over again. My year at Wake Forest helped me a great deal to get along with Harvard standards, and I graduated in 1929. That was my first acquaintance with a large university. Of course, that in itself was an educational experience.